Things to do in the Hunter Valley: Where to Wine, Dine & Unwind
We've whittled down our favourite places to stay and things to do in the Hunter Valley, for a weekend of wine-fuelled pursuits.
A mere two-hour drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley beckons with a laid-back charm that's more than just about uncorking bottles. Beyond the cellar doors, this wine-rich region boasts rolling green landscapes, gourmet delights, and cozy cottages with fireplaces that ignite the perfect ambience. It's a locale steeped in charm and romance, inviting you to savour the decadence of Australia's oldest wine region.
So, for a wine-fuelled getaway, consider a long weekend immersed in the Hunter Valley's allure, exploring its hidden gems and enjoying a Sitchu-style escape. Here's the local lowdown on the best things to do in Hunter Valley.
Things to do in the Hunter Valley: Dine
Before you’ve even seen the menu, éRemo Restaurant will have you swooning. The crown jewel of Spicers Hunter Valley Guesthouse, you'll be greeted by elegant interiors adorned with spectacular lighting, immaculate table settings and a wine collection that needs to be seen to be believed.
With a modern Australian influence, Executive Chef Michael Elfwing will take you on a culinary expedition across Italy, unbound by regions or borders. Designed to share, snack on the likes of salumi and fried zucchini flowers before feasting on homemade pasta, dry-aged meats, and whole rock lobster. If your wish is to while away the hours in a truly stunning setting, éRemo is the perfect place.
57 Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin
Sabor Dessert Bar
While hitting a cellar door at one of the many wineries would be the obvious choice, a visit to Pokolbin’s Lambloch Estate is a close second when listing the best things to do in Hunter Valley.
The wildly popular Sabor Dessert Bar entices sugar addicts from near and far with its multi-award-winning Portuguese Chocolate Mousse, decadent cakes, pastries, hand-made chocolates, Portuguese tarts, and gourmet ice cream. Go for the sweets and stay for the awe-inspiring views across Brokenback Mountain Range. And, with a 20-acre working vineyard on site, there’s plenty for you to sip and savour.
2342 Broke Road Pokolbin
Yellow Billy Restaurant
Named after Yellow Billy, a gentlemen bush ranger who roamed the Hunter Valley in the 1860s, this restaurant focuses on fire. With a custom-made fire pit, Yellow Billy has created flexible sharing menus.
The perfect meat and wood pairings and their relationships with local artisans create totally memorable dishes. Think Pukara Estate lamb ragu and paprika-rubbed Little Hill Farm Chicken. It’s like tasting the entire Hunter Valley on a plate.
697 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin
Located at the iconic Hungerford Hill Winery, this fine dining restaurant is the ultimate date night spot. It serves local produce in the most delicious way via a five-course seasonal menu. After dining here, you'll find yourself booking your next trip to the Hunter just to enjoy the delicious Muse Dining fare, one more time. Sitchu tip: Say YES to the optional cheese course.
2450 Broke Road, Pokolbin
A favourite for both locals and visitors, Café Enzo is set in a charming sandstone building, with an enchanting courtyard, complete with a trickling fountain. Offering a delicious menu full of locally grown produce, this Hunter Valley café is open for breakfast, lunch, and even during those in-between snacking times.
Broke Road and Ekerts Road, Pokolbin
With simple, elegant food in a jaw-dropping setting, this is the ideal winery restaurant. Prepare yourself for a truly epic meal with award-winning food from executive chef Nick Samaras. The Esca menu is full of delicious dishes made with fresh produce and fresher flavours but, if you’re looking for a show-stopping foodie experience, check out their signature menu with matching wines.
790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin
Food is central to the EXP. experience (pun 100% intended). Owner and head chef, Frank Fawkner, has been cooking in the Hunter since he was fifteen years old, and you can taste the benefit of his experience in every single bite. At EXP. they have food practically perfected.
The six-course tasting menu (also available for vegetarians) is downright delicious. With plates ranging from sea scallops and locally-sourced chicken to wagyu and sorbet! This is an absolute must-add to your Hunter Valley itinerary.
2188 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Things to do in the Hunter Valley: Wineries
1813 Wines is the cellar door of Tinonee Vineyard Estate – which happens to be one of our favourite places to stay in the Hunter Valley. You’re encouraged to wander through the vines, pick a bunch of grapes in the summertime and make sure to book a tasting to experience everything the estate has to offer.
1813 Cellar Door, 1273 Milbroadale Road, Broke
Boydell's Cellar Door
Stop off in the historic town of Morpeth to sample some of Boydell's critically acclaimed small-batch drops. This boutique winery has won a plethora of awards, not to mention the glowing accolades from prestigious critic James Halliday! Tastings run from Wednesday through until Sunday and can be paired with a platter of local cheeses, or alternatively, book into the restaurant where you can sit down to a delicious menu of local, seasonal classics.
2 Green Street, Morpeth
A charming winery and olive grove, Whispering Brook will transport your taste buds to the heart of Greece. Their deliciously unique tasting experience combines handcrafted olive oil together with a selection of their finest vintages. Learn about olive cultivation, harvest, and artisan methods of olive and olive oil production, all the while sipping on some of their signature Hunter blends.
Rodd Street, Broke
Things to do in the Hunter Valley: Visit
Tour the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre
Located on the traditional land of the Wonnarua people, The Singleton Arts + Cultural Centre (SACC) is a creative hub that adds a brushstroke of vibrancy to Hunter Valley's palette of things to do. Launched in 2021, this $4.08 million project, funded by a NSW Government grant, showcases over 300 square metres of exhibition space and two dynamic studio workshops. SACC's annual program paints a vivid picture, featuring contemporary art from local to international talents, spiced up with engaging public events and workshops. It's not just a gallery; it's a living canvas connecting the community with a splash of culture in the heart of Hunter Valley.
23 Maitland Road Singleton
Unwind at the Château Élan Spa
Hidden in the lavish Château Élan at The Vintage, Hunter Valley Day Spa presents a glamorous experience for those looking to relax the body and rejuvenate the mind. Zen out in the luxuriously appointed treatment suites and let the magic of massage and rejuvenating facials bring you back to life.
For the mother of all spa days, look no further than the Total Indulgence Package – a head-to-toe pamper featuring mineral spas, an infrared steam sauna, balneotherapy, massage, a facial, a mini pedicure, and lunch with wine. As to be expected, their premium spa experiences are as good as they get, but they will set you back a pretty penny.
Vintage Drive, Pokolbin
Go on a Wellness Retreat at Elysia Retreat
Elysia Retreat, where relaxation meets recreation, is a top pick for those curating their list of things to do in Hunter Valley. With an inclusive package that takes the thinking out of your stay, Elysia offers nightly accommodation, wholesome meals, wellness seminars, and even spa treatments. The daily program activities and group classes add a dash of vigour to your escape. It's a haven where you can unwind, indulge, and let the good vibes flow. Elysia Retreat is not your run-of-the-mill spa experience; it's a thoughtful, all-encompassing retreat that's as nourishing for the mind as it is for the body.
165 Thompsons Road, Pokolbin
Pukara Estate Tasting Room
If you thought that wine, cheese, and chocolate, were all the bets things that Hunter Valley had to offer, think again — thanks to Pukara Estate, there’s also premium olive oil and vinegar. Proudly Australian-owned, pay a visit to their tasting room at Peppers Creek Village where you can sample a variety of their products, leaving you to decide which ones to take home with you.
Peppers Creek Village, Pokolbin
Satisfy Your Cravings at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company
Located within the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company has earned a reputation for deliciousness, attracting a legion of both local and visiting chocolate aficionados. Sit back in the café and enjoy some chocolate-based treats, and of course, don’t forget to stock up for later.
2320 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Try a Cooking Class
After spending time in this foodie wonderland, you'll undoubtedly want to start stepping up your home cooking game. Whether you take a low and slow BBQ class at Majors Lane Cooking School or take a hands-on cooking class at Hunter Valley Cooking School, you'll pick up some valuable culinary skills!
Is Italian more your thing? Why not visit Our Italian Table for a cooking lesson in the beautiful Nicita Estate? If you're a budding master chef and a full-on three-hour private lesson is more your thing, we suggest you check out the cooking school at Estate Tuscany.
Hit the Links at a Hunter Valley Golf Course
We know that golf sometimes gets a bad rap, 'a good walk spoilt' some may say! However, these Hunter Valley golf courses are so beautiful that we can promise you that there will be no complaints. Check out Hunter Valley Golf Club, the 18-hole championship golf course for premium facilities and natural beauty. Or go to Chateau Elan and check out the 18-hole Greg Norman-designed Vintage Golf Course. If you're up for a challenge you could even check out the 18-hole championship course at Cypress Lakes.
Over Wine? Change Drinks with a Brewery or Distillery Tour
Take a break from wine and check out Ironbark. With a variety of beers and ciders on tap, the tasting room has a brew that’ll suit everyone. If you have a sweet tooth be sure to try their watermelon-infused Wheater-melon beer. Craft beer connoisseurs should also make sure to stop in at The Mighty. If gin is much more your speed then you can't look past Gundog Estate.
Things to do in the Hunter Valley: Explore
Enjoy Some Retail Therapy at the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village
Be sure to hit the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village boasting an eclectic assortment of glassware, jewellery and clothing alongside casual cafes, bars, and restaurants. Primely positioned just outside the entrance to Hunter Valley Gardens, the Shopping Village is framed by its own idyllic gardens with a playground nearby to keep the little ones entertained.
Broke Road, Pokolbin
Wander Through the Hunter Valley Gardens
Sometimes, the best thing to do in Hunter Valley is also the simplest one yet. Case in point: You can take a stroll through over 60 acres of the idyllic Hunter Valley Gardens.
Take the Gardens Train around the site to soak up the natural beauty and spend the day getting lost amongst the perfectly manicured gardens. Come Christmas, the area is alight in festive lights.
2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Take to the Skies with Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley
'Come fly with me...' for over 40 years Balloon Aloft has been offering balloon flights, offering one of the most scenic and fun things to do in Hunter Valley. Flights last one hour and are followed by a delicious gourmet champagne breakfast at Peterson House. It's truly a memorable experience to share with your loved ones!
Explore the Hunter Valley on Horseback
Live out your very specific fantasies with a Hunter Valley activity that is straight out of Jane Austen, Bridgerton, or that one scene in The Parent Trap with a horseback tour of the beautiful Hunter Valley countryside and vineyards with Hunter Valley Horses. Either take a horseback tour of local vineyards and ride between the vines or go old school with a horse and carriage tour! With Hunter Valley Classic Carriages, also operating in the region, you're downright spoilt for choice when it comes to wonderful ways to spend your day in the Hunter Valley.
Things to do in the Hunter Valley: Stay
The Lane Retreat
Nestled in Pokolbin, The Lane Retreat stands as a serene haven mere moments from Hunter Valley Gardens. This unassuming escape features 60 studio retreats, each with a captivating view of the timeless Broken Back Range and the 1968 Bimbadgen vineyard. You won't run out of things to do with this Hunter Valley gem. You can unwind by the pool, enjoy wine in the peaceful outdoor areas, or discover gourmet delights at the Lane Pantry.
Make the most of your stay and explore the nearby Hunter Valley Gardens, take a leisurely stroll through the 1968 Bimbadgen vineyard, or embark on a scenic drive through the Broken Back Range. With its unassuming charm and strategic location, The Lane Retreat promises an array of leisurely pursuits, making it an essential stop on your Hunter Valley adventure.
409 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin
Château Élan at The Vintage
Whether flying solo, adventuring with the family, or seeking a quiet escape for two, Château Élan reigns supreme as the go-to spot in Hunter Valley. The private villas perch elegantly above the lush golf course, offering a refined yet luxurious retreat. Families can revel in spacious layouts and scenic views, while couples enjoy exclusive spa access in the spa suites, complete with a screened sanctuary courtyard for a touch of privacy. With its elevated position and impeccable amenities, Château Élan becomes the ideal hub for those crafting their own unique list of things to do in Hunter Valley.
Vintage Drive, Pokolbin
Spicers Vineyard Estate
A perfect example of Hunter Valley luxury accommodation, Spicers is a boutique five-star retreat that offers twelve luxurious guest rooms and a guest house nestled between the property’s private vineyard and gorgeous surrounding bushland.
For bigger groups, the four-bedroom vineyard house has access to an outdoor barbecue area with a fire pit and a large outdoor pool. For couples, the romantic king suites are absolutely perfect. During your stay make sure you carve out some time to visit Spa Anise and their renowned eatery Restaurant Botanica.
555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin
Casa La Vina
For those yearning for a slice of Marrakesh magic in the heart of Hunter Valley, Casa La Vina is the undisputed haven. This boutique retreat boasts three standalone villas, each a Moroccan-inspired escape ideal for a romantic rendezvous. Amidst quality vineyards, guests often find themselves torn between sipping wines and lounging in the outdoor spa – a true dilemma of decadence. The villas are adults-only and oozes of southwestern charm. They also feature private courtyards, built-in fireplaces, and a rustic touch. Casa La Vina is the perfect retreat for those seeking a serene escape while curating their own list of the finest things to experience in Hunter Valley.
657 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin
Leaves & Fishes
One of the most unique accommodation options in the Hunter Valley, the boathouse accommodation by Leaves & Fishes offers four unique private boat houses in a relaxed, secluded setting. With your own deck overlooking a lily pad-laden pond, you’ll feel like you’re encompassed in the serenity of a Monet painting. With a king-sized bed, opulent furnishings and a uniquely stunning vista, this is the best couples' accommodation in the Hunter.
737 Lovedale Road Lovedale
Starline Alpaca Farmstay Resort
For an authentic taste of the Aussie countryside, Starline Alpaca Farmstay Resort is the ultimate retreat. The cottage-style digs are perfect for families, offering a laid-back escape surrounded by the stunning Brokenback ranges and the Yengo-Wollemi National Park. Beyond misty mornings and clear night skies, the resort boasts a smorgasbord of activities. Dive into the swimming pool, unwind in the spa, or channel your inner Serena Williams on the tennis courts. Little ones will be entertained at the children's playground, while the alpaca farm steals the show with its adorable, fuzzy friends. It's a chill spot to reconnect with family and friends, creating your own laid-back list of the best things to do in Hunter Valley.
1100 Milbrodale Road, Broke
Vinden Estate Wines
Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, Vinden Family’s Estate is a local gem, blending the art of winemaking with a touch of colonial charm. This family-owned boutique winery, acclaimed for crafting award-winning wines, graciously opens its cellar door and invites visitors to take a closer, more intimate look into their vinous world. For those seeking more than just a sip, the Estate's colonial homestead beckons. Wake up to the sun kissing the Brokenback Ranges, bask in the tranquility of the surrounding vineyards, and let the understated elegance of the 1840s homestead be your haven. It's a wine-lover's dream, a sip of the finer things in life amidst the many things to do in Hunter Valley.
138 Gillards Road, Pokolbin
voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley
An elegant, stylish boutique with sustainability at its core – all rooms at voco Kirkton Park feature plastic-free bedding made from recyclable materials and large-bottle amenities to reduce the volume of plastic waste. The kitchen also adopts a paddock-to-plate, zero-waste approach to food, with vegetable gardens, beehives and resident-roaming farm animals who gladly make use of the leftover veggies. Set on 70 acres of picturesque countryside, and just minutes away from the region’s famed cellar doors, this luxury retreat is a haven of tranquillity.
336 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin
The Dairy Cottage and The Residence at Tinonee Vineyard Estate
Set in the charming village of Broke, this quaint two-bedroom Dairy Cottage beckons with a sense of charm and serenity. A romantic escape for couples – walk amongst the vines, cuddle up on the sofa next to the roaring fire, then sink into the beautiful period bath with a chilled glass of their signature Verdelho. Pure bliss. For larger groups, the neighbouring and rather opulent Residence sleeps up to 18 guests and also has an outdoor swimming pool.
1273 Milbrodale Road, Broke
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